- Special Sections
- Public Notices
The energy in the room is different than what people see on television, says Sheila Bickford of Indian Land.
When the room is the 17,000-plus capacity Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., and the atmosphere is obviously electric to people watching at home, that’s saying a lot.
Bickford, a longtime Democratic Party activist, said she enjoyed her first time as a delegate to the Democratic National Party convention, and would do it again in a heartbeat.
“I had an idea of what would happen,” she said. “I read all the material.”
But the actual DNC, held Sept. 4-6, was a little bit “more” than her research led her to believe.
“It was exciting, very exciting, to be there,” Bickford said.
A lot more goes on that people watching don’t know about, she said, and not all of it was truly “behind the scenes.”
Bickford attended two meetings of the Democratic Party’s women’s caucus and got to hear from various speakers, she said. But, if people were willing to brave both the traffic and go through security checkpoints, those meetings were actually open to the public.
“People just didn’t know they could go,” she said.
Bickford attended women’s caucuses on two separate days and enjoyed what she learned at both.
She heard First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech Tuesday, Sept. 4, from the convention floor. But she also heard from her at a women’s caucus meeting, and her message there was different.
Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, gave a speech at the convention Thursday night, but Bickford had already heard her speak at a joint caucus appearance with Michelle Obama.
The two focused on the assistance President Barack Obama’s administration has given to Americans returning from fighting in two wars.
“Do you know the Obama administration has given more aid to veterans than any other president?” Bickford said. “That’s something people need to know.”
While attending caucus meetings, Bickford said she met people from all over, from all “walks of life.”
Journey begins with Indian Land club
Bickford’s journey to be-coming a convention delegate began when she started the Indian Land Democratic Club in 2009.
She said people needed to know some information, and it wasn’t available, so she tried to get it, and is committed to sharing it with the community at large.
Bickford said the Indian Land Democratic Club gets the information – just the facts – and posts it on its website, www.indianlanddemocrats.com. The club, which now has more than 200 members, meets the first Tuesday of each month.
Bickford believes people should have more information about the Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health-care industry reform passed in Obama’s first term, which she learned more about at the convention.
She said there was a busload of doctors and health-care professionals who came to both political conventions to talk about the advantages they see in the ACA.
Favorite DNC moments
Besides all things Michelle Obama, Bickford couldn’t narrow her favorite moments at the convention down to just one, but her list includes:
Overall, Bickford said she enjoyed her first national political convention experience.
“I would do it again. Absolutely,” she said. “It was an honor to be elected to represent my district. I’d do it a hundred times if I could.”